Bless his heart, Donald Trump just can’t catch a break this week, much less an honest to goodness win.
Had Trump’s losing streak not begun with the Democrats winning the House last November, we would never have had a Michael Cohen hearing before that body’s Oversight committee, which provided telling glimpses of what may be in store with other high profile hearings yet to come. And unless the Republicans want this spiral to continue, they better up their game.
On the Republican side with only two of its 18 members being female, the strategy was simply to attack Cohen’s credibility. Leading this group was Congressman Jim “Did I or Didn’t I Overlook the Sexual Abuse at Ohio State University?” Jordan, as Ranking Member, repeatedly showed exasperation learned, not doubt, at the Lindsey Graham School of Dramatic Arts.
However, Lindsey is a true Southern and probably learned how to throw a hissy fit at his mother’s knee. The white guy from Ohio was a pale (pun fully intended) comparison, provoking a look from Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett that Huffpost described as “an eye roll heard ‘round the world.” I’m not sure it was an eye roll. It looked more like that whole body move, head turn, and threatening gaze that Mother would shoot me that said, “Don’t make me take your almost grown butt out of this church house in front of all of these people.”
So while the Republicans pretty much wasted their time covering the same territory over and over again in five minute increments, the Democrats’ strategy showed planfulness that I attribute to the presence of ten of their female representatives being on the committee. It seemed they had taken everything they wanted to ask Cohen about and divided it amongst themselves as carefully as a tableful of women sharing a single dessert. And when they were finished, they had solicited names from Cohen that have already become Chairman Elijah Cummings to-do list. In my experience, that’s how women get things done.
Meanwhile, over in Vietnam, Trump continued his losing streak by not coming to any agreement with Kim Jong Un. And as Aurora Greenway said about Flap Horton, “He can’t even do the simple things, like fail locally.” Bless his heart. Again.
But a loss, or at least a parallel, that may not bode well for Trump is brewing in the Middle East. Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit has announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be indicted on bribery and breach of trust charges as a result of three separate investigations. It is unsurprising that Netanyahu has described them as media-led, politically motivated witch hunts and that his own appointee as attorney general has succumbed to pressure from the left in making this announcement.
Adding to the similarities are the fraud charges against Netanyahu’s wife, showing that scandal in 2019 is a real family affair.
With Israel’s general election coming up in just two months, it is highly unlikely that the charges against Netanyahu will be adjudicated before the vote. While legal scholars in the United States debate whether or not Trump can be indicted, and while investigations are ongoing as to whether he should be indicted, we have a test case for what politics look like in the 21st Century when the head of state is up for reelection with criminal issues hanging over his head.
But to be fair to Trump (STOP THAT GROANING!), it’s not his fault that the Republicans in the House act like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. And I’ll even cut him some (not a lot, but some) slack because his team at the State department didn’t come up with the least little thing that could be spun into a win in Vietnam. Trump needs better than what he’s got to end this trajectory.
I’m not saying that the Republicans had much of a chance to begin with, but they could have at least spent as much time trying to defend Trump (which they simply did not do) as they spent getting articles from “fake news” organizations like CNN, Mother Jones, and the Washington Post into the congressional record.
Oh, the irony.